Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester, MA -- It was a fantastic day to be an Eph at the New England Rowing Championships on Saturday. With six states and thirty-six schools represented, the Williams men's and women's squads entered eight eights and raced to accumulate a total of 194 points to capture the Team Points Trophy over second place Trinity who finished with 169 points. The Ephs also secured the Women's Points Trophy for their seventh consecutive year with first place finishes across the board in the 1V, 2V, 3V, and Novice 8 races.
Coming into the weekend, the Ephs were eager to test their speed against some tough competitors. In the morning, the Williams crews went into heats racing raring to go, and were able to post strong margins to secure seeding in the afternoon Grand Finals.
In the women's 3V Grand Final, Williams was first off the line with an aggressive and powerful start. The Bates Bobcats clung to contact on the Ephs until about the 750 meter mark, when the Ephs found open water. Williams continued to move from there, completing a well-executed sprint to slam the door and finish with a six second margin over second place Bates.
The Novice eight rocketed off the line to gain a strong lead over the field in the first 500m. Wellesley, however, remained tenacious and was able to walk back on Williams, throughout the middle of the race. An exciting final 500 brought Wellesley across the line just half a second shy of Williams, in a real nail-biter.
The Williams 2V race shook out with Williams gaining momentum off a quick start to put open water between their stern and the bow balls of Holy Cross, Bates, Trinity, Wesleyan, and UNH by the 600 meter mark. Continuing to stride away from there, Williams crossed the line eight seconds ahead of second place finisher Holy Cross.
The Grand Final for the women's first varsity eight was the culmination of an incredible day of racing for the Ephs. Starting down off the line to Bates, the Williams 1V fiercely fought their way back. Remaining composed and taking powerful moves throughout the body of the piece, the Ephs walked back and through the Bobcats to finish with a ten second margin.
"We are very proud of the team's effort this weekend, and the extra speed that each boat found. We are excited to see where our work this week can take us on Friday," said Co-captain Sydney Tooze '12.
The Ephs travel back to Worcester at the end of the week for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Friday, May 11.